Sunday, December 8, 2013

Event One: Youth Development in Israel
Extended Comments

One of the events I attended this semester included a presentation on Youth Development at Rhode Island College. The speaker was a youth development worker from Israel named Osnat Nisanov. She discussed Youth Development in Israel and the differences between their college program and the programs at RIC. I really enjoyed how she incorporated and infused these two very different systems of education. In the U.S., students go to school from K-12th grade. Most likely, after this they will attend college and take classes in the field in which they wish to work in. After graduation, hopefully they will find opportunities in which can help jumpstart their career. In Israel however, the roles are reversed. After graduating high school, students immediately go into the army for a few years.  Just like Mairim discussed in her blog, I also found this to be shocking. It is an extreme difference between cultures and a lot to process.  Furthermore, Osnat also talked about how important it was for the students to go into the army before school; they expected the students to gain some sort of life experience before entering college. Their idea regarding life experience is also translated in their college programs. Students are first expected to have a job or an internship placement in a degree they show interest in. It does not correlate to how college is in the states where finding a job comes at the end of completing your classes.  I thought this was interesting since not all students know what they want to do for the rest of their life when first entering college. I think that Israel’s approach really gives their students an advanced way to process whether or not they want to be in the field they have chosen. 

Though Israels tactics are different, I can’t help but to support some of their ideas. I do think that it is important that students gain maturity and life experience before going to college. However, I think that they can gain these experiences in different contexts other than joining the army. For example, though students in the U.S. do not have to join the army following high school, they still bring life and (sometimes) work experience with them to college. Additionally, depending on the program, students are required to complete fieldwork hours in their desired major. I believe that this helps students gain life and work experience that could help them in their careers.

1 comment:

  1. This was really interesting! It was one of the events I really wanted to go to, so I'm really glad you posted about it. That is extremely shocking that the youth immediately have to serve in the army. Hopefully there can be some changes, and they will have a choice to opt out if they'd like.